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Abu Dhabi opens second Catholic church in UAE Capital

The 4,560-square-metre St Paul’s complex in Mussaffah, was built on land provided by the Abu Dhabi Municipality

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Roman Catholics in the UAE will have easier access to weekly services following the opening of a second church in the capital, daily newspaper The National, has reported.

Speaking at the opening of St Paul’s Church, in Abu Dhabi, on Thursday, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development said the opening highlighted the ‘religious tolerance of the country’s leaders.

“The clearest way to appreciate the paramount values valued by Emiratis is to examine the well-documented actions of a single person whom all Emiratis admire,” Sheikh Nahyan said, as he also paid tribute to the UAE’s founder Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

He also paid tribute to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had previously acknowledge the important role played by the country’s expat population.

And added: “Our leadership knows its true wealth and accepts the obligation to respect and understand the many religious beliefs of the people living in this country. I believe that each of you can provide evidence that the leaders of the UAE are fulfilling that obligation.”

There are approximately 900,000 Catholics living in the UAE, up until recently 25,000 of these have had to travel 25 km from Mussaffah in Abu Dhabi to worship at St Joseph’s church.

The 4,560-square-metre St Paul’s complex in Mussaffah, was built on land provided by the Abu Dhabi Municipality, the report added.

Speaking at the opening, Cardinal Paolin said:“I think Christians who live in this country need opportunities to give witness of faith and to grow in their faith. My message to the Christian community is that they may be strengthened in their efforts to grow in their faith, and be charitable to others.

“In the short time that I’ve been here in the UAE, I’ve had the opportunity to see that the church is very lively and, tomorrow, it will be an occasion to meet the community.:

Daily services will be held in English, services in Arabic will be held on a weekly basis, There will also be services is Malayalam and Tagalog as well as other languages.